Title: Even with concerns on defense, Luke Kennard addresses major need for Detroit Pistons
Date: June 23, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my debut for The Athletic Detroit, I broke down the Pistons’ selection of Luke Kennard at No. 12.
Luke Kennard may end up being the best shooter from the 2017 NBA Draft class.
When it came down to it, that may have been what won the day for the Detroit Pistons as they selected the Duke sophomore with the No. 12 overall pick. The Pistons are light on shooting, and while it can be short-sighted to try to plug a near-term hole with rookies who may not contribute in a meaningful way until the roster looks a little different down the line, Kennard landing with Detroit would seem to be one of the better on-court fits in the draft. He can really, really shoot the ball, and the Pistons need that skill at whatever position they could get it.
President and head coach Stan Van Gundy was an early adopter of the NBA’s en vogue pace and space, 3-point heavy attacks. With Andre Drummond lumbering down the lane, Van Gundy figured to want to put a lot of shooters on the floor like he had in Orlando with Dwight Howard. And he’s tried, but it hasn’t quite worked to form: In his first two seasons with the team, they hit threes at a decent clip but shot them at only a moderate volume. A season ago, though, Detroit cratered to 28th in 3-point percentage and 27th in the portion of their field-goal attempts taken from beyond the arc. That’s death in the modern NBA, and it would seem to be antithetical to the way Van Gundy has preferred his teams to play.